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UP's Sinclair Named Academic All-America® of the Year

Aug. 17, 2006

WALTHAM, Mass. - Soccer All-American Christine Sinclair of the University of Portland and football standout Josh Lamberson of Northwest Missouri State University have been selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as the 2005-06 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americas® of the Year.

CoSIDA and ESPN The Magazine combine to sponsor 24 Academic All-America programs on the University (NCAA Div. I) and College (NCAA Div. II, III and NAIA) levels. For each program, an Academic All-America of the Year is selected. Sinclair and Lamberson were selected from a ballot that included each program's Academic All-America of the Year.

Sinclair ran away with the University Division award, compiling 194 points in the voting system. A total of 50 of the 84 voters ranked her among their top three selections, including 31 first-place votes, more than double the total of the other 11 candidates.

Oklahoma State golfer Zack Robinson finished second in the University Division balloting, while West Virginia men's basketball player Johannes Herber (91 points), Brown football all-star Nick Hartigan (67) and Florida State national champion shot putter Garrett Johnson (66) rounded out the top five.

Sinclair, originally from Burnaby, British Columbia, was selected as the National Player of the Year by several college women's soccer organizations, including the Missouri Athletic Club, which presents the Hermann Trophy. She was also the Honda-Broderick Cup winner as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She was among the top 24 players considered for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

A three-time Academic All-America, Sinclair broke the NCAA record for single-season goals (39). Her 110 career goals ranks second in NCAA history and 252 points is fourth in the national books. She also set the NCAA records for scoring a goal in 17 consecutive games and 25 post-season scores.

"It is a tremendous honor to be given this award. My success in the classroom is as important to me as my performance on the playing field," said Sinclair. "This is as much a testament to the University of Portland and how it has prepared and molded me into who I am as a person, as it is an individual honor. Professors, administrators and athletic personnel continually teach the importance of a well-rounded individual, and I'm proud to represent the school and bring such recognition to the university."

In the College Division, Lamberson collected 26 first-place votes from 43 voters on the way to compiling 161 points. He edged Tammy Leane, a national championship women's swimmer from West Chester (Pa.) University, for top honors.

Lamberson, originally from Wilber, Neb., returned from a potential career-ending hip injury in 2004 to lead his team to an 11-4 overall record, breaking numerous Northwest Missouri State and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) records in the process. A two-time first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America, Lamberson compiled a 24-6 overall record as a starter.

Lamberson, who helped the Bearcats to the Division II national championship game last December and was the game's MVP after throwing for 326 yards, finished his career number one in the program's history in completions (575), total offense (8,064) and completion percentage (.659).

The Academic All-America of the Year honor, which began in 1987-88, is awarded to the most outstanding student-athlete of the year and is chosen from the student-athletes who have been awarded Team Member of the Year honors. From over 360,000 student-athletes in the nation, just 816 are selected as Academic All-America Team members each year, twenty-four are selected as Team Members of the Year and two are named Academic All-America of the Year.

"With nearly 12,000 student athletes being nominated for Academic All-America® each year, and considering the number of athletes completing in intercollegiate sports, to reach the epitome of what it means to be a successful student-athlete and be selected as the best of the best is quite an amazing achievement," said Bentley College's Dick Lipe, CoSIDA Academic All-America chair.

Former recipients of Academic All-America of the Year honors include Rebecca Lobo (1994-95), Peyton Manning (1997-98), Chad Pennington (1999-00), Stacey Dales-Schuman (2001-02) and Emeka Okafor (2003-04).